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Harvard drop ACT or SAT scores entry requirements until 2027 due to COVID-19

Harvard drop ACT or SAT scores entry requirements until 2027 due to COVID-19: Prestigious Ivy League says students who were unable to find testing sites because of the pandemic will not be prevented from applying

  • Incoming Harvard students will no longer have to turn in their standardized test scores for the next five years, up until the 2027
  • The school cited the pandemic as the reason, as many students are struggling to access the tests 
  • The Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons said students who do not turn in scores will not be at a disadvantage 
  • Students will be ‘encouraged to send whatever materials they believe would convey their accomplishments’  


Incoming Harvard students will no longer have to submit ACT or SAT scores in their admissions packets until the 2027. 

Harvard University has waived the requirement to submit standardized test scores for their applicants up until the graduating Class of 2030, the school announced on Thursday. 

The school cited the ongoing pandemic as the reasoning behind this shift, as students are finding it harder to obtain testing spots.   

The Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons said students who choose not to submit test scores will be not put at a disadvantage.  

‘Their applications will be considered on the basis of what they have presented, and they are encouraged to send whatever materials they believe would convey their accomplishments in secondary school and their promise for the future,’ Fitzsimmons said. 

Harvard University is no longer requiring the next four incoming classes to submit test scores with their applications. The Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid William R. Fitzsimmons (pictured) said students who choose not to submit scores will not be at a disadvantage 

The school cited the pandemic as the reason, as many students are having problems accessing the test

The school cited the pandemic as the reason, as many students are having problems accessing the test 

The average ACT score for Harvard applicants is estimated to be 33 to 35 – the highest score students can receive is a 36. And for SAT, which has a maximum of 1600, the average score for Harvard is 1460, according to Prep Scholar. 

Harvard accepted 740 students out of almost 10,000 applicants from their early action program. All those who were not accepted will be reconsidered during the general admissions process, according to the school. 

The incoming class of 2026 is already the second class Harvard has waived the testing requirement for and the school is claiming that it looks at outside the classroom accomplishments too while considering admission. 

‘Accomplishments in and out of the classroom during the high school years — including extracurricular activities, community involvement, employment, and family responsibilities — are considered as part of the admissions process,’ the announcement read.   

The average ACT score for Harvard applicants is estimated to be 33 to 35 - the highest score students can receive is a 36. And for SAT, which has a maximum of 1600, the average score for Harvard is 1460

The average ACT score for Harvard applicants is estimated to be 33 to 35 – the highest score students can receive is a 36. And for SAT, which has a maximum of 1600, the average score for Harvard is 1460

Harvard also announced that several students and families in Zoom meetings mentioned its ‘generous financial aid program’ as a reason for applying and that almost 13 per cent of admitted students are first-generation college students. 

The predominantly white school, also reported that more than 25 per cent of its student body is made up of Asian American students and almost 14 per cent were African American. 

Its international population has also increased from last year from 12.2 per cent to 12.6, as pandemic restrictions on travel have begun to loosen.  

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